This weekend, more than 1,200 alumni, alumnae, family, faculty and staff gathered for a momentous Reunion, as the greater HWS community was introduced to Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen, the 29th President of Hobart College and the 18th of William Smith College. Among the alums celebrating a weekend of enduring friendships and the legacy of the Colleges, 46 class years were represented by nine generations of graduates, hailing from 36 states and several countries.
“Getting back to see people I haven’t seen in a while brings me back to campus. The fellowship you have with classmates when you’re here is pretty special,” says Theodore “Ted” Koskoff ’04, an attorney from Allison Park, Pa.
To enjoy coverage of the weekend, including photo galleries, video, social media and stories visit the Reunion 2019 page.
During the weekend, Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D.’12 delivered his final “State of the Colleges” address in a standing-room-only Vandervort Room, reflecting on the Colleges’ progress, outcomes of recent graduates, advancements made on campus, connections forged with Geneva and a look to the future of HWS, including welcoming incoming President Jacobsen.
“From the first moment that I stepped foot on the Hobart and William Smith campus, I knew this was a special place,” Jacobsen told the crowd in the Vandervort Room. “I deeply admire the mission of Hobart and William Smith to prepare students to lead lives of consequence. Together, we can offer students of promise and merit extraordinary opportunities to do research with serious academics, to stretch themselves intellectually, to study abroad, to participate in community service, to excel on the playing field and the water, and to become leaders.”
Alums throughout the weekend expressed their enthusiasm for Jacobsen’s incoming leadership and vision for the Colleges. Mitch Holland ’84, director of the Forensic Science Program at Penn State University, reflected on the “growth” and “respect” the Colleges have earned in the past 35 years. “All of us from way back when are benefiting from the recent successes of the Colleges,” he says.
Steve Westort ’94, of Hoboken, N.J., adds. “Not quite sure I can articulate my range of emotions wrapped around this past weekend’s 25th college reunion. Wasn’t sure it was possible to fall more in love with Hobart and William Smith Colleges . . . but apparently it is! To reconnect with friends from first year on and to also connect, for the first time, with new friends for the great Class of ’94 reminds me of the connection we all have to HWS; it’s truly the Hobart and William Smith family!”
Friday included many excursions throughout the local area, including the Tour de Finger Lakes bike tour, excursions on the William Scandling research vessel, a trip to the Hanley Preserve, the Davis Gallery’s exhibit “View/Points: Landscapes, Scenes and Scenery from the HWS Art Collection,” and class gatherings throughout campus and Geneva.
“Hobart and William Smith have the best, most beautiful campus and scenery. That beauty is what brings you back all the time,” says Phylicia Robinson Dove ’09, the owner of Black Monarchy, a global artisan and fashion Boutique in Buffalo, N.Y.
Campus tours celebrated the numerous developments at the Colleges, including the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts and the newest addition to campus: Stiles Field at the Thomas B. Poole ’61 and Family Sports Dome. CBS Producer for “The Talk” Genoa Boswell ’09, a station manager for WEOS and the first station manager for WHWS during her time at the Colleges, visited the station now housed in the Scandling Campus Center and admired the three new recording studios.
Faculty members taught classes bringing current events and cutting-edge research to the weekend. Topics ranged from the HWS connection to Herman Melville’s Billy Budd to social norms and alcohol research. Other courses gave alums insight to the curricular development taking place on campus, as retired Professor of Economics Scott McKinney P’13 discussed the evolution of the Colleges’ study abroad program in South America, and an open-house at the Richard S. Perkin Observatory allowed Assistant Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb and Associate Professor of Geoscience David Kendrick to share their knowledge of the universe.
A special lecture was also presented by Professor Emeritus of Sociology Jim Spates P’00, P’09 and Professor of Sociology Jack Harris P’02, P’06 titled, “Come Together: The Music of 1969,” for the 50th Reunion class.
Alums also gathered at St. John’s Chapel for remembrance services in honor of late classmates, led by Dean of Spiritual Engagement and Chaplain the Rev. Nita C. Johnson Byrd. This year, additional gatherings took place for veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community and at the Office of Intercultural Affairs, where a story sharing project was conducted.
Alum authors Rev. Charles Cloughen Jr. ’64, of Hunt Valley, Md.; David Saunders ’69, of Baltimore, Md.; Pietro del Fabro ’67, of Princeton Junction, N.J.; Paul Lee Johnson ’71, P’08, of New York, N.Y.; Dina Paulson-McEwen ’04, of Princeton, N.J., and Jesse Saperstein ’04 of Guilderland, N.Y., participated in book signings.
Classmates also took part in many of the Colleges cherished traditions, including the Reunion Forum on the Quad. The Founders Cup, awarded to the class that achieves the highest giving percentage during their Reunion year, was awarded to the Classes of 1969 who achieved 60 percent giving participation. The earliest class present at Reunion was represented by Alta Boyer ’36. During luncheon, the following alums were awarded honors. Hobart Alumni Citations: Howard “Chris” S. Christie Jr. ’59, Edward J. Tapper ’64, Michael A. Orth ’74, Howard N. Weiner ’74, James M. Kraus ’74, Richard N. Moses ’89 and Steven Westort ’94. William Smith Alumnae Citations: Dr. Phyllis Launer Kozarsky ’74, Pamela Clark Robbins ’79, P’10, Christine Ingebritsen ’84, Kelly A. Martin ’84, P’14, Cassandra “Sana” Naylor Brooks ’89, Karen McDermott Wasserman ’89, P’17, P’20, Jennifer E. Legat ’94. Hobart Young Alumnus Awards: Ryan T. Adler ’09 and Brendan C. Csaposs ’09. William Smith Young Alumna Awards: Delvina L. Smith Morrow ’09 and Kelly Stephens Pieri ’09. Distinguished Service Award: Jeffrey Booth Hodde ’69, P’91. Elizabeth Herendeen Odell Award: Sally A. Webster ’74.
As per tradition, alums celebrated Saturday evening on the Quad with dancing and fireworks. “I came back to HWS for Reunion because I have a lifelong affinity for the school,” said James Calder ’74, P’16, P’18, president of Turk Event Consulting in Scarborough, Ontario.